All good superheroes have to die some time and Marvel has decided it's finally Peter Parker's turn.
The good news, however, is that Spider-Man isn't going anywhere. In fact, the landmark 700th issue of "The Amazing Spider-Man" — out now — is just the beginning of a new "Superior Spider-Man" series (left), which debuts in January.
Here's the twist: Doctor Octavius, a.k.a. Dr. Octopus — one of Spidey's greatest villains — is the Big Apple's newest hero.
In issues leading up to the nemesis' final showdown, their minds swapped bodies and as a result, Doc Ock is finally able to beat his former pupil (trapped in his former body) to death. Instead of using his newfound youth and power to continue committing evil deeds, however, he'll use Peter Parker's body for good.
"Peter's final, heroic act was giving Doc all the memories and experiences that kept him on the right path," Marvel writer Dan Slott told CNN.
"If Peter had never learned the lesson of 'great power and great responsibility,'" Slott continued, "there's every chance he would have become a supervillain."
Now that Doctor Octopus has learned a very valuable lesson from his dying foe, he has a chance to become the hero he could have always been.
"For all intents and purposes, he was the adult Peter could have become, Spider-Man's dark reflection," Slott added. "So what if we flipped it? What if we gave him a second chance?"